Actor Henry Winkler was given an honorary O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) in a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The citation reads: "Henry Winkler, the well-known American actor and director, has been made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to children with dyslexia and special educational needs."
Winkler, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as an adult, has spent much of the last two years touring the U.K. educating schoolchildren, educators and policy makers about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. He said he is "very honored, very proud" to have been awarded the honorary O.B.E.
I didn't really grow up with Andy Griffith, but it was quite the nostalgia trip to see Ron Howard and Henry Winkler as Richie and the Fonz again. Winkler seemed to just slip back into the character despite all the years.
The whole actor-to-character age ratio thing got me curious, so I did a little research (with the help of some of the TV Squad team) and made a list of some of the more extreme and well-known (or, maybe to some, not-so-well-known) examples. By the way, we didn't include actors who played flashback scenes of their characters for short periods of time, as there are more of those than we have room for.
This isn't the first time a television character has gotten a statue. I live near New York City and I walk past the Ralph Kramden statue every time I take the bus. The cable channel TV Land has arranged for a half-dozen statues to be placed across America. TV Land is co-sponsoring the Fonzie statue as well.
TV Land isn't making statues of their TV characters any longer (after everyone from Mary Richards to Dr. Bob Hartley were made into statues and put in various cities around the country), but that isn't stopping a group in Milwaukee from raising money to make a statue of The Fonz for their city. And they have the permission of Viacom to do it.
Vist Milwaukee and others have raised $57,000 of the $85,000 needed to make a statue of Arthur Fonzarelli for the city. Artist Gerald Sawyer says it's going to be one of the Fonz's classic poses, so I'm guessing he'll be standing and giving a "thumbs up" sign. (Please don't let it be of him in a leather jacket and swim trucks on water skis...). It won't be of him on a Triumph motorcycle as in the show, because Milwaukee is the home of Harley-Davidson!
The statue will be placed near the Chase Plaza office tower.
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